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Burning Locust

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by barnuba, Jan 4, 2013.

  1. Flatbedford

    Flatbedford Minister of Fire

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    Croton-on-Hudson, suburbs of NYC
    I burned Almost all Black Locust last winter, I posted a similar thread last year. I found that keeping a bunch of very small splits handy was key to successful BL burning. I think a big part of the difficulty with getting it going is how smooth the splits are. Unlike the Red Oak I am burning now, BL splits are smooth and hard. The Oak splits have little splits and fibers sticking out of them that catch fire and then ignite the splits. BL splits usually have none of that. I hot bed of coals and a bunch of smaller splits will get the big stuff going...and once it does it will burn hot and long.
    jatoxico likes this.

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  2. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Feb 14, 2007
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    Loc:
    Michigan
    Thanks to etiger, I have finally been able to burn some black locust. Still have some and waiting for the weather to turn cold again before I burn the rest of it. Basically though, we've found that when we get the stove set and engage the cat, we've had to give more draft even though there was a raging fire before engaging. We've actually had to re-open the bypass, get the fire flaming nicely again, re-engage the cat and then all is well. The stove each time has zoomed up to 700 degrees each time. After 12 hours we find still some huge coals throwing good heat and the house never got below 80 degrees. After we burn the rest I will probably start a thread about our experiences.
  3. jatoxico

    jatoxico Minister of Fire

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    That's what I have found Sav, locust likes it's air alright. Once things are hot and rolling and the draft picks up then no problem. From a cold start, getting there is another story. I do a lot of cold starts and I was using my oak and cherry sparingly for startups but I'm pretty well out so its 100% BL from here on out.

    I bet you'll like burning especially mixed with other wood and it may excel in a cat stove. Interested to hear your thoughts after you have a chance to play.
    Backwoods Savage likes this.
  4. ohlongarm

    ohlongarm Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2011
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    723
    Loc:
    Northeastern Ohio
    If you guys keep talking accolades about locust you'll force me to go cut some more,I don't think any wood burns better than it overall,I don't even mind the smell outside on a real cold day.Locust with cherry is awesome,locust and oak fantastic,but when it really gets cold I bring out the big guns,locust rounds about 7in topped off with osage orange splits ,you'd better have a stove you can control or you're in trouble it will warp some stoves.The BBK absolutely loves it even the glass stays clean.
  5. jatoxico

    jatoxico Minister of Fire

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    Oh, so you have a Blaze King? :)
  6. ohlongarm

    ohlongarm Minister of Fire

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    Northeastern Ohio
    For function,performance.hassle free,wood miserly operation does anything else really come close?Not to mention 12+ hours REAL burn time in single digit temps.Yes sir I do have a Blaze King.
  7. NextEndeavor

    NextEndeavor Burning Hunk

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2011
    Messages:
    244
    Loc:
    Southern Iowa
    I did a little experiment tonight with BL. Most of it is plenty well seasoned with bark somewhat easy to pop off. For tonight's load i peeled most of it away. Well, it seemed to light easier, but I used pine to launch some heat fast. Glass is perfectly clean and I'm cruise'n at 550 after cutting back the air. Think I'll remove the bark when it's easy for the next few days to see if anything is different. I've read somewhere that removing the bark produces less ash. My stove burns everything pretty completely anyway every since I insulated the liner giving us better draft throughout the burn.
  8. weatherguy

    weatherguy Minister of Fire

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    The bark makes stacking the splits in for a nice load harder to do too, I peel it off so I can get more actual wood in the box instead of that fluffy bark.
  9. Flatbedford

    Flatbedford Minister of Fire

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    I have found the BL bark falls off pretty easily when processing it anyway. I couldn't believe how much crap I dumped in the woods when splitting all my BL last year. Seemed like about a yard per cord of bark fell off.
    jatoxico likes this.
  10. jatoxico

    jatoxico Minister of Fire

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    The bark is so thick and soft it holds a ton of moisture if the wood spends any time out in the weather. The actual wood won't be affected but takes time in the shed to dry. I had a pile of rounds that I waited 6 mo or so to split. I had earth worms in between the bark and wood eating up that soft stuff. Some of these rounds were over 3' off the ground. Anyway I digress :rolleyes:, I get the bark off if I can.
  11. ohlongarm

    ohlongarm Minister of Fire

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    Northeastern Ohio
    If the bl has bark still on it,it's most likely not seasoned enough to burn,the bark holds a ton of water .
  12. FireBall

    FireBall Member

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2007
    Messages:
    46
    Loc:
    Western North Carolina
    Agree with ol longarm locust bark is very thick and can slow seasoning. My experience with locust has been that the seasoning time between dead and live trees is very different from many other species. I have cut lots of standing dead locust with bark pretty much already gone where splits were measuring at or near 19%. Think is partly due to tendency of locusts to lose bark when the tree is dead. Other dead hardwoods tend to retain their bark longer- I have found moisture reading in many dead oaks for example to be almost as high as a live tree.

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